2 months in and how is it going?

It’s been 2 months now that we are on the road and how are we feeling? Are we happy with our decision to take on such an adventure? Has our relationship changed? Are the kids happy?

How is it going for you J?

Good so far, on the whole. As a lifestyle I both love it and hate it.

I’m loving going to different places, meeting new people and going to different sights some of which have been absolutely exquisite. The food, the colour, the smells – well I can leave the open drains. I like the anticipation of going to new places, looking out of the bus window as we make our way into town, and the exploration (the geek in me relating physical streets to maps and all). I love learning about the places we visit, and being able to tell the boys about what we see and do. And I love spending time with the family, something which has been difficult over recent years as I have been working away from home a lot.

What I don’t like is the stress we generate when we move from one place to another. Obviously the children fighting when they do. I don’t like the actual arrival in a new place. We tend to arrive in the afternoon then spend an hour being misdirected before arriving at the hotel and then looking for that 1st place to eat with grumpy children in tow. We need to be a bit more laid back about it all – and perhaps take a taxi once in a while – walking with heavy rucksacks in a new place where we have no idea where we are going does not equal happy family!

Despite the bad behaviour of the children sometimes, I am sure that we will achieve our goal of generating a harmonious family. Living together 24/7 is taking its toll, so we need to find some structure and reset some boundaries. As long as Tania and I are united, I am confident that we can get there.

I miss home from time to time, and my Mum & Dad, Brother and Sister, and friends near and far. Creature comforts are becoming less important. We haven’t watched TV for 2 months, our connection to the outside world is through the internet, and we have mostly been to places with WiFi – the most frustrating part, I find, is when we are in a hotel without WiFi. This makes it hard to research our next move – the Lonely Planet guide is OK but 2 years old (we have found quite a few entries that are no longer true – especially places to eat).  On the occasions without WiFi I do feel cut off and isolated from our life in the west – but the compulsion to squat on FB all day is most definitely waning!

It would be good for Tania and I to get some free time once in a while – but finding a babysitter is a little difficult! So we have to make time when the boys have retired for the evening – and not just for the planning.

Looking back at the photos we have taken, the experiences we have had are amazing. It is not everyone who has the means or the courage to do what we are doing and every day has to be treasured – even if our little treasures sometimes take the shine off some parts of the day. Our lives have changed already, and we are growing through our journey each day. “Its wicked!” as the boys would say 😮

And for you master Lego?

I am feeling ok about the trip but at the same time I am missing all of my friends. I like what I am experiencing throughout this trip and I like spending time with Mum and Dad and the boys- on some occasions, when they are not being crazy.

The food is really nice and their chapati here are delicious.

The people in Malaysia are not as friendly compared to Indonesia.

I am really looking forward to visiting Thailand and taking my diving lessons but also visiting all the other countries.

I am ready to come home but back home I would probably want to go back.

And for you Lu?

I am sad and annoyed, my brothers are not being nice and it is just a nightmare. I like being with mum and dad.

I like the food, it’s super good, especially the roti.

I miss the school and my class and everyone in England but it’s fun here, I love it especially the snorkelling.

And for you mighty Mat?

It’s nice and good and beautiful. I like meeting new people.

I don’t like being with my brothers all the time but I do like being with my mum and dad. I don’t like not having school, I miss it.

And for you T?

Well, I am loving the whole experience, the feeling I have every time I enter one of those beautiful temple is quite inexplicable, it just takes me there, right bang in the middle of my stomach and it goes up, slowly, pressing on my breathing and then suddenly I have humid eyes- can I say that?

The people on the whole are really nice and laid back, travellers as much as locals. I feel safe, anywhere and any time- well apart from in Petalling street market KL. I freaked there, I felt squashed and that woman brrrr she scared me, the way she look at mighty Mat.

The moving from place to place doesn’t bother me really as we tend to stay a good 5 days to a week before we move again. The guesthouses we find are generally great, with all the mod cons you’d expect from home.

I got used very quickly to bargain, and our legs are just so strong now with all the walking we do. It is the best way to see the country really rather than taking taxis.

I also realised quickly NOT to trust the travel agents and it is in fact really easy, if you take the time to do some research, to get from A to B and sooooo much cheaper.

Life is not expensive here obviously but as we are on a shoestring, every penny counts and I mean every penny. Like, do we take the bus or walk the 2/3 kms to save RM8 (for the 5 of us)? to give you perspective, RM8 is approx £1.20. I know it sounds ridiculous but with that you can have a fab plate of Indian curry with a tea tarik or even a coke. So we walk and then stumble upon some magnificent temples or views or people.

I like the fact that I feel free, not attached to anything, not controlled by anything.

I like being with the boys and see them grow. They make me smile, laugh and proud; but boy oh boy they kill me. I already didn’t have much authority over them but now I have lost it all. They walk completely over me and find it really rewarding, it feels that way, but I don’t. And that stresses me. It actually kills me slowly, I certainly don’t like being alone with them anymore, one on one is fine but otherwise…..and it really upsets me not to be able to cope with it but I take some time off and leave them with J alone from time to time.

I now it is sad but I have to be honest with you and myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I really really like our adventure; it’s just that sometime it is hard, but then again I knew we were not going to travel on a pink fluffy soft cloud for 8 months.

I think that what is missing for them is the routine. There isn’t any, somehow we can’t, with the organisation of the trip and visiting or maybe J and I are really rubbish at organising, (I can see my mum’s big smile now, love you Mum). We just need to try having one.

Would I change anything so far? No not really, actually I am happy with our adventure. I know that we will all come out of it stronger and wiser and the good memories will stick with us for the rest of our life.

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  1. #1 by veronika on November 20, 2011 - 8:49 am

    well for the first time I got the info I have been waiting for – your personal feelings. Darling Tania, I know this is the tip of your life but do not forget the sensations of your men. They are not as happy as yours and yes it is absolutely necessary to get some rules into your lives, do not forget the boys have been absolutely living “wild” for the last 4 months but they will come back to civilisation one day and it will be hard for them. I do very sincerely hope that everything is working out as best as possible. More personal thoughts will come on an email. you know I am a bit old style and do not like to share everything with everyone. love you all, I follow very closely and are always amazed by the wonderful pictures you post. Je vous embrasse tres fort maman

  2. #2 by 5onajourney on November 22, 2011 - 3:44 pm

    Merci ma petite maman chérie,
    Je sais qu’il nous faut une routine et on y travail.
    Les garçons vont bien et si un de nous ne se sent plus heureux de faire se voyage et bien nous rentrons tous.
    Je t’aime
    T

  3. #3 by with2kidsintow on November 24, 2011 - 3:59 am

    Don’t worry–what you are experiencing is merely the effects of our ‘peer oriented culture’, as stated in a really really good book that i read lately entitled “Hold on To Your Kids; Why Parents Need to Matter More than Friends’ by Gabor and Mate. look for it and read it if you can–it’ll make sense out of some of the problems that you are experiencing.

    But in the mean time, I think it just sounds like everyone needs to get used to spending 24/7 together as normally with school, activities, work, and friends, as a family at home in england, you probably didn’t as much. It definitely takes getting used to. But also try to find time for separate relationships, like one-on-one time with a parent with each kid (on rotation), while the other is with the rest. In time, hopefully the boys will get used to spending time together without you having to referee, even if it’s only for 15 minutes to start! it can be exhausting to be with the kids all day!

    Another key is to maybe get everyone off to bed early, so that you get longer adult time. or at least for them to do quiet activity like reading.

    some familes also take turns allowing each person to set the agenda for the day. that way the kids will feel like they have more of a say in what’s happening, even if it’s only 1 day a week.

    we generally stick to a routine too while we are traveling, eating and sleeping at the usual times as we would at home. it does mean that we miss out on some of the evening activities, although we do make exceptions if warranted like for a performance or festival. but also try not to do too much, like take in every museum, activity, etc. it can all get too much for the kids, as much as they might enjoy it at the time. but eventually they will become jaded at the next one. choose wisely.

    good luck–it will/should get easier!

  4. #4 by Cody Jacks on November 26, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    Cody Jacks here. Hi, Oskar. Your journey sounds great. \hope thee boys get on better soon. We miss you at school. I sang at the Royal Albert Hall with the choir. We are doing our Cycling Profficiency Badge at the moment. Hope you are all well. Good Luck with your journey. Love Cody.

    • #5 by 5onajourney on November 27, 2011 - 10:50 am

      Hi Cody
      Really cool to hear from you. That’s awesome that you went to the Royal Albert Hall with the choir. I would have loved to be there. What did it feel like, were you nervous? I bet, I would have been. Who did you sing in front of?
      Hope all is going well at cubs.
      We are in Koh Lanta at the moment and the beach is great. We are having a really lazy week doing nothing and playing on the beach and the sand.
      Hope is well everywhere and with everyone.
      Say hi to all
      Lots of love
      Ozzy osbourne

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